1,400 Educators Celebrated the Start of a New School Year with Bishop Sheltz

August 9, 2012

1,400 Educators Celebrated the Start of a New School Year with Bishop Sheltz

HOUSTON - On August 9, 2012, more than 1,400 teachers and school administrators from Catholic schools within the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston celebrated the beginning of the new school year at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart with a Mass and award presentation led by Bishop George Sheltz, Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese.

In his homily, Bishop Sheltz, himself a product of Catholic schools, told those gathered that “Catholic education is alive and growing because of you (the teachers).” He referred to them as “missionaries” bringing not just English and Math to students, but providing them with the skills to navigate through life and to navigate it with faith. He said they have both the privilege and challenge of bringing knowledge, wisdom and understanding to our young and concluded with a blessing for those gathered.

The Mass served also as an opportunity to honor a local Catholic school teacher or administrator with the Sally Landram Excellence in Education Award. The award, sponsored by the John W. and Alida Considine Foundation, honors a Catholic school educator who exemplifies excellence and professional dedication. This year’s recipient was Rachel Bacilla from St. Helen Catholic School in Pearland. Sister Kevina Keating, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, said that Ms. Bacilla was selected for her “tireless and selfless involvement with students and with service.” Sister Keating commended Ms. Bacilla for her intense commitment both to her school and the parish community, and for her tireless efforts to help as many people as possible. “She is always there not only to teach, but to help with events and various school and student activities…she shares her knowledge with everyone,” Sister Keating concluded.

Additionally, service awards were presented to 161 educators with milestone years of service.

Catholic School teachers and staff began their back-to-school in-service on August 1, 2012; most students start classes the week of August 13.

About the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Catholic Schools:
• The Archdiocese has the largest private school system in Texas.
• There are currently 59 schools in through the counties of the Archdiocese.
• Approximately 18,000 students are enrolled.
• The schools serve students PreK-3 through 12th grade.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston serves 1.2 million Catholics in 10 counties. It is the largest Roman Catholic diocese in Texas and the 12th largest in the United States.